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JAN VALTIN, author of America's no. r best seller, "OUT OF THE NIGHT," 

LOOKS AT A MAP OF A WORLD IN WHICH HE MADE HISTORY AND LIVED IT 



The Truth about Tan Valtin 
Pr fT v , THE UNIVERSITY 

Picture of Jan Valtin.: AC TEY AC 2 

Letter from Davis Weaver Vr* I fc^AO 2 

Who Is Jan Valtin? lift O TO /It 

A Statement from the Publishers JUL ° ' 94 ' 

Utter from F. Jansen „ J^ LIBRARY 

Letter from Bruce Van Skander 

Letter from Archie A. Chrisholm 

The Commonweal: excerpts from review by Father Reinhold..,,.." 5 

Letter from Professor Arthur Price g 

Letter from Virginia Hanrahan g 

The Redacteur by Richard Krebs from the San Quentin Bulletin 7 

Should Valtin Get the Boot? from Collier's ZI 

New Arguments for Freedom : excerpts from review by Pearl S. Buck 12 

American Dawn by Jan Valtin j, 

American Federationist : excerpts from review by Karl Baarslag 15 





JAN VALTIN 



Dear Mr. Valtin, Talladega, Ala. 

I am a boy 15 years old and T have a copy of your book. I am almost sure that I 
am the first person in my school thai has read the hook. It is the most interesting 
and the most thrilling hook that I have ever read. 

I am enclosing a self addressed stamped envelope. Please send mc a short letter 
or your picture or your autograph 01 anything thai I can put in my copy of your 
book. T have already pasted several newspaper clippings iii it. T have been watching 
all the newspapers toi clippings about you. 

You may be a German or even a Communist, bul lure's one American boy 
that's for you. 

Lots of luck, 



DAVIS WEAVER 



I 2 I 



Who Is Jan Valtin University of Texas 

Austin 



The Sacramento Bee, noting that 
Valtin s boo\ mentioned that he 
spent a thousand days in San 
Ouentin Prison, checked the prison 
records and discovered that Valtin s 
life paralleled the life of a certain 



prisoner. The Bee was the first to 
announce Valtin's real name as 

"Richard Julius Herman Krebs . . . 

Krebs is the only one who fits the de- 
scription of Valtin." 



The Truth about Jan Valtin 

With the publication of Out of the Night Jan Valtin became a figure of 
national interest. From the day of publication his book has been the center of 
a raging controversy regarding its authenticity. It was rumored that Valtin 
did not exist. Later, that he did exist but never wrote the book. Later, that he 
did write the book but could not possibly have lived the fantastic adventures 
recounted in Out of the Night. Now that America's greatest critics and public 
figures vehemently proclaim themselves convinced of his book's authenticity, 
Jan Valtin is being savagely attacked by the sinister forces he exposes with 
such merciless detail. 

At this crucial moment of history, Out of the Night is so important and so 
unique that we as its publishers feel we owe it not only to the author and book, 
but to the American public as well, to keep its meaning from being destroyed. 
Before acceptance of the manuscript of Out of the Night, Alliance made a 
careful investigation which did not leave the slightest doubt as to the authen- 
ticity of Jan Valtin's statements. Following the publication of the book, there 
has been such strong and conclusive evidence from readers, many of whom 
had been in close contact with the scene of the events described in Out of the 
Night, that we have prepared this booklet so that their united voices may 
silence, once and for all, the doubters whose influence extends greatly beyond 
their numbers. * 

Out of the Night by JAN VALTIN is the true autobiography 
written by Richard J. Krebs. It is an authentic historical 
document of our time. 



2/2 Fifth Avenue, 
New- Yor\, N. Y. 



— ^allja: 

ssmhx 



NCE BOOK CORPORATION 



The following unsolicited letters, reprinted ex- 
actly as they were written, are from one of Valtin's 
fellow-prisoners, one of his shipmates, and a friend 
of his father. 



Dear Mr. Krebs : L ° S An Z eles > February 26, 1941 

Have just finished your book Out of the Night and I wish to express my 
admiration for the fact that it was possible for you to survive such superhuman 
suffering. 

I made the acquaintance of your Father in Singapore in 1909 and 1910. . . . 
I still remember that he did something extremely decent for me, something 
which only very few people would be ready to do. 

I also knew Captain Peus of the Naval Academy in Bremen. The last I 
heard from him was that the "Party" forced him to resign and a Captain 
Woerdemann whom I also knew took his, place. . . . 

Naturally you will be in constant danger of being caught by the Gestapo 
or OGPU, and I hope this will never happen. 

Wishing for you peace and happiness for the future, I am, 

Yours, F. JANSEN 

My dear friend: 

Many years have past and lots of things have happened since I saw you, 
when we used to walk under the "shed" and talk things over. You were then 
German teacher under Dr. Shuder and I took over your class after you left. 

Do you remember when you got mad about a fellow you sent to your 
Mother in Hamburg and the dirty skunk borrowed money from her and said 
that you told him to get it from her? 

I am surely glad and proud of you that you have made such a successful 
entrance in the writing world and I am one of your friends who is asking 
no favors from you, whatsoever, only am glad that you "have arrived" 

Let me hear from you anyhow and best of the best to you from your old 
friend 



San Francisco, March 1, 1941 



T.R. 

(now— Bruce Van Skander, which is 
my new name by law.) 



Dear fan, 

I don't know if you remember me, probably not, it seems a million years since 
1929. Anyway we left the good old U. S. together on one of the French line, I think 
it was the De la Salle. . . . By the way the reason I spotted it was you, was the 
story of how you greased your hide to gel through the port on your arrival from 
China, remember the bananas you pinched from the poor heathen chinese, etc., 
you used to swap a lot of yarns, but maybe this is enough for you to remember me 
by. . . . Well good luck to you. v , . , 

Your tnend, archie a. chrisholm 
Toronto, Ont. 

[4] 



The Qommonweal 

Excerpts from a review by 

FATHER H. A. REINHOLD 

"One of the few men in America able to judge 
the reliability of Valtin's boo\ gives his verdict!' 

The author of this article, Father Reinhold, became a Roman Catholic 
priest after having served in the German army during World War I. He 
was a founder of the Apostolate of the Sea, and his home town was 
Hamburg, the center of Jan Valtin's activities. Father Reinhold was active 
as a Seamen's Chaplain on the waterfront of Hamburg in the years from 
1929 to 1935 — years Valtin writes of. Father Reinhold is now Seamen's 
Chaplain in Seattle, Washington. His address is: The Catholic Seamen's 
Club, Third Ave. and Marion St., Seattle. 



In the beginning it seemed easy to 
write a review of Out of the Night. It 
is so close to the scene and time of my 
own life that it almost appeared im- 
possible that I had never met "Jan 
Valtin" or heard of him. . . . 

Hamburg, the center of his activities 
is my own home town, and its water- 
front was the scene of my activities as 
a seamen's chaplain. For years I was 
stationed in Bremerhaven, and often 
I had to go to the ports of Bremen, 
Lubeck, Kiel and Stettin. In my or- 
ganizing capacity I visited my fellow 
chaplains at Rotterdam, Amsterdam, 
Antwerp, Le Havre and the British 
ports many a time in the years from 
1929 to 1935. . . . 

We were all alarmed when the strike 
at Leningrad and Sebastopol reflected 
on our Bremerhaven boats, and when 
the strikers were tried in Cuxhaven and 
on the Kiel Canal locks. But what did 
we know about the events behind the 
scenes? Now that I have read Valtin's 
book, scales fell from my eyes. . . . 

I remember very well the incident in 
Norway which Valtin describes as hav- 
ing taken place when he brought 
German-built ships to Murmansk on 
his short career as a skipper. The papers 
were full of it- — and Bremerhaven too! 



There were lots of seamen who were 
nazis and communists and pretended 
at the same time to be Catholics. . . . 
We had lots of nazi and communist 
spies; seamen with membership cards 
and badges, either communist or nazi; 
but who could take such things very 
seriously in an orderly, democratic 
state? 

Jan Valtin has opened my eyes and 
like lightning, illuminating the whole 
firmament, the patched scenery sud- 
denly grows into an organized whole, 
and the two competing forces become 
rival armies with shock troops and 
cannon fodder, secret services and gen- 
eral staffs and a continuous strategy 

His description of the Hamburg 
Gestapo headquarters, the character of 
Streckenbach (not Schrechenback, as 
he calls him) are sober and bring back 
to me less terrible and agonizing hours 
which I spent in its walls and face to 
face with the chief inquisitor, "Johnny" 
as he was called by his nazi friends. 
Little details show that Valtin is trust- 
worthy; e. g., the case of his fellow 
prisoner in Fuhlsbuettel, Colmitz, 
whom his guards hounded to death. 
(His wife and sons live in this coun- 
try). I knew him well enough, as he 
(continued on page 15) 



m 



On the following pages we have reprinted a letter 
from a Professor at the University of California, 
identifying Valtin as an ex-student; a librarian who 
worked at the University in 1 92 8 and 1929 and knew 
Valtin' s stories; and a character sketch which Valtin 
(then Richard Krebs) wrote for the San Quentin 
Bulletin. 

Dear Mr. Valtin : January 25, 794/ 

Looking into your book Out of the Night I have decided that you are my old 
time and most distinguished (maybe I should say only distinguished) student 
and graduate of my journalism courses. 

You appeared as a student under a different name, which of course, it is not 
necessary for me to give now. . . . 

I feel gratified in your writing success — I did not think I could be wrong in 
my estimate of your ability. I was sure you had IT, and would produce if your 
perilous temperament permitted you to last until you had the chance to do the 
writing. However, I have feared that you might have been liquidated by Mr. 
Hitler, personally or vicariously. . . . 

Do you remember that in 1929 I took two months leave from my work, and 
another Examiner man, Phil Hindley, carried on my course! It was Hindley 
who first identified you to me from the Book of the Month Club write-up. I 
made a further check — and there you were! . . . 

During the past ten years I have often wondered what had become of you. 
While I can't envy you in your experiences, I can congratulate you on your 
writing success, and can feel like a prophet. 

I would like to hear from you. arthur price, University of California 

Berkeley, Calif. 



Dear Richard Krebs — 

In 1928 and 1929 that name was an exciting and vital one to me, as it seems to 
be today to everyone. 

It is now 2:30 in the morning, but having just seen your picture in the current 
"Life", I feel I must write this swiftly now, or not at all. 

During the years I mentioned, I was a clerical worker in the correspondence 
department of the University of California Extension Division. 

It was I who unwrapped the San Quentin package, and hid behind a post 
to read your lessons, enthralled with your vivid sea stories. . . . 

These many years I have watched for your writings. I thought I had found 
you in "Death Ship" by B. Traven. If yon know his books, I don't think the 
comparison will offend you. . . . 

Praise from me at this late date may seem excessive. However, over a period 
of this many years I have often thought of you and wondered where you were, 
and what you were writing. . . . 

virginta hanrahan, Librarian, St. Helena, California 

[6] 



FROM THE SAN QUENTIN BULLETIN, FEBRUARY, I93O 



The Redacteur 

By RICHARD KREBS 



EDITOR'S NOTE: Before leaping 
San Quentin last December 5 for his 
former home in Germany, Richard 
Krebs typed the following description 
and character study of the then editor 
of The BULLETIN who has since also 
departed from this jail of tiers. The 
Redacteur is too widely \noum to need 
mention of his name to identify him; it 
suffices to say that he is a young man 
who "found himself" in prison — ■ 
whether because of or in spite of incar- 
ceration is not for us to say. 

Those who know the subject of 
Krebs' word-picture will appreciate his 
estimate; und, it is believed, other read- 
ers will appreciate the word-picture by 
this German seafaring youth who start- 
ed to learn English, willy-nilly, in 1923, 
and developed the admirable vigor of 
tale-telling that permeates his various 
autobiographical travel and adventure 
stories hitherto published in The 
BULLETIN. . . . Prison co-workers of 
the author of the following study and 
of his subject loo\ forward to brilliant 
careers for each of them in the field of 
letters; a career begun, in each case, on 
the staff of this prison publication of 
self-expression by prisoners and encour- 
aged by the supervising officials of San 
Quentin Penitentiary. 

He is a tall man of urban aspect; 
skeptic, serene and unhurried 
under an antiquated green hat which 
he carries at an original and inimi- 
table angle upon his dark and glossy 
hair — an angle that somehow tells 
a tale of the man. The hat is cool, 
unruffled — so is the Redacteur. The 
hat is tainted with an air of jaunty 
self-confidence and calculation; an 
air inherent in the even-tempered 



nature of its wearer — a nature cun- 
ning and complex and vaguely satu- 
rated with an intangible snicker at 
the world of men. 

The Redacteur is versatile. His 
capacity for adaptation gives the 
impression that he has the world 
gripped by its throat and tail. He 
writes novels; he plays the piano; 
he draws portraits. He stands his 
ground in serious discussion; yet he 
is endowed with a signal acumen for 
ragging, meaningless and ingratiat- 
ing interjections, and a flair for writ- 
ing windy editorials. He talks well; 
and when he speaks, his mobile fea- 
tures and arms leap into a crescendo 
of vivid pantomime that would even 
make a McAllister-Street merchant 
pause in admiration. 

My friend, I gather, identifies him- 
self with no creed or religion or any 
cause to which the militant and 
mediocre mass-man lends his collec- 
tive drive. His sympathy goes out to 
them, it is true; but he is unwilling 
to risk the ultimate plunge into any 
of the meandering juggernauts, be- 
cause he will not trade single course 
enthusiasm and fanaticism for the 
vast perspective of Life which to at- 
tain is his prime endeavor. 

All causes, he terms as religion; 
and religion, he maintains, thrives 
on the promise to crush the strong 
for benefit of the nonentities. Hence, 
he must consider himself one of the 
strong. And he realizes that he was 
born, that he will die, that he will 
rot, and that life will roll on without 

{continued on page 10) 



[7] 




An affl'ck a <%--of eadacng significance, in condensed, permanent booklet form 



TWENTIETH YEAR 




evolutionary 
viet Rus- 
acles itita 






5ee0UT0FTHE NIGHT 



The Reader's Digest reports that its condensation of OUT OF THE 
NIGHT in the March, 1941 issue "was given greater space than any 
previous condensation and evoked a tremendous response from its 
4,000,000 readers. 




OUT OF 
THE NIGHT 



by IAN MTiH 



"Jon Valtin'" i* th. pen nome of o fonm.r retolollonary 
oqent ol the Contmormt Intetnotkjnal, to the y.aii b.Tw.«r< 
ihe lait war ond th. totnlrto to power of the Hail* in G.T- 
mcy. Vnlfin worked in porti all c»ec th. world, otcjaiiiiina 
ttriket, inciting rtoti, loitering. CoMio-iv In 1933, while 
retrying Owl o mivrion in Germany, he wo* captured by the 
Gevtapo «"d tortured 'n a concentration camp. H. eicapec 1 
from Germany by becoming e G«»lopo agent. 

VdHei'l »lorr 0* hit lite, catted Gut of th* NtfiM, wet ptrfj-- 
Silhpfl i"i the U. S. i* January. Art abcoftting tare *tf p»r- 
cons! odrenivre, ft o5*e lays" fctitce en fltttatittg wwcierworitl 

: Moicew. Out of Jh* Might iAtlionta, S3.5C} stan.di a* the 
top ot non.tterje-xi fe**t-*eifer tkK, it the febrsrury choice of IHe 

: Beo!i-o(-tH*.A^!rith Ckrlt and I. bttirrfl tonrfeftjeti fay ft* 
Iteooer'j Or'fiejf (or it* March 3*su*. 



UFE herewith ] 



tiUve. the 



of esearpti ftora Old i 
few ne*t week- Utff article opf.ni or* 
■ Gerescmy *0> its the tnlfjst of o fwrta 




After Nazi pristsiif 





RUNNING A FRENCH RIVER STRIKE 

In August 2^51, 1 was in Dunkerque, discussing the possibilities 
of a strike movement on the rivers rati canals in Northern France. 
The campaign plan bad bsca drawn up by the Western Secretariat, 
It limed it! nothing less than the throttling of the industries of the 
jarci by catting oit the raw materials ivhich they received over the 
j river and cana! syste-ins Unking Paris vaik Lorraine and tiie Channel 
1 coast. Already the C. G- T. U-, tiie (.ommuntst-cciitrolleJ Confeder- 
ation pi Trade Unions, had prepared -he ground in weeks of strike 
; agitation. The ombrcak of the b«UiiU B '„ hittlkn was mcrelv a 
niattcr of days. To the Dunkcrque 'leadership of the Comraumst 
i Party fell the task of. supplying a staff of experts who could trans- 
j form the irapendint? strike into a real battle bv Mocking the water- 
ways to Paris with— ship barricades: 

It tests an hitherto untried form of large-scale transpori sabotage. 
j Wcgsebetder, I and our band of assistants journeyed' separately to 
j Pans. We came together again m theC G. T. U- headquarters, on 
j the Kae des Granges aux Belies, for a conference with Rene and the 
I French Party leaders. 

j Benon Frschon, the .strategist of Bolshevist enterprise in France, 

S spread out a general staff map of the Paris area. Military garrisons 

■and stations of the CarJ- Mtshih were marked in Hue. Marked 

swsiin-rSif^5vere_ places of confluence and stratcaic canal itinctions.. 



Life Magazine felt that Jan Valtin's career was front page news, 
worthy of the utmost attention of its readers. The above picture shows 
selections from the special picture sequences which ran in two con- 
secutive issues of Life. This is the first time that Life has devoted two 
issues to illustrated articles on a booJi. 



(continued from page 7) 

noticing the disappearance of the 
Redacteur. Cruel, inscrutable and 
obscure! The result is a dismal sense 
of futility buoyed up by a pessimistic 
snicker and a monstrous vanity de- 
void of conceit. 

Individualist idealism wages a 
losing skirmish against tolerant deri- 
sion and healthy cynicism. Often, I 
find it difficult to decide whether the 
Redacteur is serious or not. He does 
not seem to give much of a hang for 
anything. He is a politician in the 
Voltairian sense. He is interested in 
mankind; and he privately despises 
its puny antics. He will have nothing 
to do with reform, nor radicalism 
under any flag. He believes in Dic- 
tatorship of Intelligence. 

And meanwhile he takes the 
world as he finds it. He coolly uses 
its earnestness, folly and absurdity 
to serve his own ends. 



"I know exactly what I want," he 
says. "And while doing what I want 
to do, I feed myself at the flanks of 
the fools." 

Daring impudence, this; sophis- 
ticated and naive, for an ephemeral 
and impotent piece in the chess 
game of the Universe. 

Once Omar wrote : 

The Moving Finger writes; and 

having Writ, 
Moves on: nor all your Piety 

nor Wit 
Shall lure it bac\ to cancel half 

a line, 
Nor all your Tears wash out a 

word of it. 

Snicker, Redacteur . . . snicker and 
be doomed! 



Readers of Out of the Night may be interested in looking up some earlier 
articles by jan valtin, written a year before the publication of Out of the 
Night. See: 

THE AMERICAN MERCURY, November, 1939 
Communist Agent by jan valtin 

KEN, August 3, 1939 {final issue) 

Hitler's slaughterhouse: the living hell of Plotzensee by jan valtin 



WYTHE WILLIAMS: "Jan Valtin has shown unbounded courage in 
writing his illuminating Out of the Night. It is important reading for 
every American." 

COMMON SENSE : "This terrifying and beautiful book may some day 
be regarded as one of the most authentic tragedies to have come out of 
the years between the first two World Wars. Although it is auto- 
biography, it has the total values of high drama and poetry. Although 
it is political, it embraces the tragic emotions, which in our time have sc 
often been evoked by politics." 

[10] 



Collier's 



WILLIAM L. CHENERY, Editor CHARLES COLEBAUGH, Managing Editor 

THOMAS H. BECK. Editorial Director 

SHOULD VALTIN GET THE BOOT? 

The book season's hottest shocker is Out of the Night, by jan valtin — real name, 
Richard lULius HERMAN KREBS. Krebs claims to have double-crossed the Russian 
Communist and German National Socialist parties and lived to tell about it for 800 
or so lurid pages. 

Because Krebs admits having entered this country illegally and having once been 
a Communist, he is threatened with deportation under existing immigration laws. 
That would mean a trip back to his old acquaintances of the German Gestapo, who 
would dearly love to lay hands, truncheons, rubber hoses and pistol butts, if not a 
rifle sights, on Krebs. 

We hope the Department of Justice will find ways of letting Krebs stay here; or 
that Congress will if the Attorney General can't. After all, Krebs-Valtin has per- 
formed a pu blic service and given democracy an intellectual weapon . 

Then, too, there are about 8,000 other deportable aliens dangling around in this 
country, of whom Attorney General Jackson says 6,000 can't be sent back to their 
native lands because Hitler or Stalin has gobbled up those lands. The whole situa- 
tion seems to us to call for some changes in the immigration laws to fit changed 
times — and to fit the ancient American pride in this country as a haven for victims 
of tyranny everywhere. 



INFANTRY JOURNAL: "This book contains the most thorough 
and — from this reviewer's own knowledge of Communist and Nazi 
activities, drawn from first hand unimpeachable sources — accurate 
account of the activities of the Soviet plunderbunds world-wrecking 
gangs so far made available to the public. . . . The book should be read 
by every American and especially by those who have the foolish notion 
that the disciples of totalitarian rule are just kind hearted people who 
have been soured by the persecutions of economic royalists. . . . Jan 
Valtin's publishers have discovered a new star in the literary firmament." 



From a News story in the New Yo>\ Mirror, April 16, 1941: 

Frank Lloyd, producer-director of Universal's Lady from Cheyenne, dis- 
covered while reading Out of the Night that the author in 1923 was an extra 
in a "sea picture with Milton Sills." In that year Lloyd directed The Sea Hawl^ 
starring Sills. 

Lloyd delved into his "still" collection. In a mob scene from The Sen Haw\ 
he spied an extra he recalled as Krebs, the name by which Valiin was then 
known and the one under which he served a term in San Quentin. 

[11] 



"It is a great document, a wor\ which 
must live for years to come. I thin\ that 
every literate human being in America 
should read this wor\." 

— '- JAMES T. FARRELL 



"Here for the first time, is uncovered 
the underground fanatical revolution- 
ary movement of our time, of which 
fan Valtin and his \ind are but the 
preliminary sacrifices. Ta\e it away 
Mrs. Lindbergh." 

— CLIFTON FADIMAN 



"Out of the Night is the most terrific, 
most marvelous boo\ written for years 
and I urge everybody to read it at once." 



WALTER WINCHELL 



"Out of the Night has the 'feel' of 
truth. Among its multitudinous array 
of facts, 1 have been able to chec\ a 
few, and have found them accurate. 
. . . It is not only a literary achievement 
of a high order, but an historical docu- 
ment of vast importance." 

JOHN HAYNES HOLMES 



JS[ew oslrguments for Freedom 

from a review by PEARL S. BUCK in Asia Bookshelf 

Out of the Night by Jan Valtin is a book like none other that has been 
written. This man obeyed an organization soulless to the core in its incredible 
demands upon those who yielded themselves to it. He was not evil as those 
were who directed it, and always he hoped that good would come out of his 
sacrifice. That it never did, grows throughout the book into a sort of sorrowful 
amazement rather than a passionate anger. 

Without accusation or indeed clear explanation of any philosophies or 
analyses, the story describes literally hour by hour the movement of the whirl- 
pool which is destroying him. There are pages of vivid writing that for quality 
can be rated high. But everything is overborne by the frightful meaning of 
the book. That all these details were factually as they are here written is perhaps 
doubtful. Exact conversations remembered after years are always doubtful. 
Yet this is unimportant. The reconstruction is as important as though it were 
an exact reproduction of fact. 

Here in solemn simple truth is what happens to a man, when he gives up 
the independence of his soul to any organization which demands subjection 
from him. Here is all the argument for freedom and democracy. Here is what 
happens to a human being who gives them up. It is a book almost unbearable 
at times in its detail. But its significance is enormous, and its meaning at this 
hour of human history is as wide as the world. It is the story of that modern 
crucifixion of man, his complete depersonalization. Can any end remain good 
and unchanged at the cost of such evil means ? 

[12] 



EDITOR'S NOTE: The excerpt from American Dawn, 
printed below, is from a nine-page article of that nam^afcty ^ 
jan valtin,. copyrighted May, 1941, by the Reader s Digest^x^® 
reprinted with their permission. With the publica^j^m 0^\ 
of the Night, jan valtin became a figure of national interest. 
Newspapers, headlining his name, filled columns with conjec- 
ture on his character, his motives in writing the book, his future. 
A flood of letters from all over the United States and Canada 
poured in, asking the author many questions as to his purpose 
in writing Out of the Night, his own stand at present in regard 
to Communism and Fascism, his feeling about America, and 
numerous other questions. To answer those sincere and im- 
portant questions, mr. valtin wrote American Dawn for The 
Reader's Digest. 

(^American 'Dawn 

By JAN VALTIN 



... I wanted to tell the people of 
America that neither the National 
Socialism of Hitler, nor the Com- 
munism of Stalin, nor any other 
tyranny, could ever succeed in bring- 
ing happiness into a single humble 
dwelling. I wanted to show to Amer- 
icans what the totalitarian combina- 
tion of propaganda and terror does 
to the human soul. I was obsessed by 
the will to pour into words the record 
of a past that began with a song of 
victory, and ended in the death of 
Firelei. 

That was the beginning of the 

writing of Out of the Night Out 

of my memory tramped an endless 
caravan of men and women, heroes 
and cowards, loyal souls and cheats, 
hangmen, sailors, policemen, saints, 
prostitutes. Most of them were dead, 
some still alive, but as they marched 
by with lagging feet, each seemed to 
turn a face to me and say, "Don't 
forget me; I, too, was living; re- 
member how I did things, the man- 

858101 



ner in which I used to talk?" Fran- 
tically I worked to keep the imprint 
of their feet upon my pages before 
they passed and were gone. 

And then came the vision of 
Firelei. She came, as I had seen her 
first, with a light step along the 
corridors of the Museum of Art in 
Antwerp. Next, the cluttered quay- 
side of Siberia Dock, where she drew 
sketches of sailormen and ships. 
... I heard her scream in childbirth, 
and then her voice was ringing with 
quiet bliss when she heard that she 
had become the mother of our son. 
... I saw her eyes, burning with 
anger and compassion when friends 
were seized and beaten to death; 
she went to prison herself without 
bowing her head in defeat. . . . 
Firelei came into the pages of my 
book more fully alive than all the 
others. 

Out of the Night was not wrilini 
in one continual effort. There wi r< 

(continued on pane i 1 1 



£13] 



{continued from page 13) 

many Interruptions. It was an ago- 
nizing task to write a single page 
after eight or ten hours of toil. It 
would be presumptuous of me to 
insist that not a single error has 
crept into hundreds of pages writ- 
ten mainly from memory; but my 
memory, trained as it had been in 
15 years of conspirative tasks, was 
good. After I had written 200" pages 
in rough notes, at the same time 
working in a lodging house where 
I cleaned 30 rooms and made 45 
beds a day, I collapsed. A friend 
carried me to a hospital. Slowly I 
recovered. . . . 

On September 1, as I typed the 
last word, I felt neither exhaustion 
nor triumph. The old hatreds and 
fears were gone. Once more the 
memory of Firelei stood clear and 
sweet as a tall flower against a back- 
ground of azure. I had told my story 
and hers. I was at peace. . . . 

. . . "Where do you stand now?" I 
am asked. "What is your political 
philosophy?" 

Within me my answer is clear. I 
have ceased to believe in any "po- 
litical program." But I have a con- 
viction that human beings can 
struggle successfully for a form of 
life that is decent and just and fair, 
within the framework of democracy 
as it has been developed in the 
United States. I have learned from 
America that the right of the in- 
dividual to free enterprise, the right 
to go and to work where he pleases, 
the right to rear his children in a 
society which affords them the 
chance to develop their abilities to 
the fullest extent — these rights are 
not the abstractions of dreamers, but 
concrete American realities worth 
any sacrifice. 



Now that Out of the Night has 
found its way into thousands of 
homes, the cry has been raised: 
"Jan Valtin is an alien! He entered 
illegally and must be deported!" 

True, I have come to America 
without observing the formalities of 
lawful entry. But I came the way 
millions had come to these shores 
before me — in search of freedom 
and opportunity. I came to America 
to elude the assassins of Hitler and 
Stalin, to begin a new life, to prove 
to myself and to other men that I 
am not unfit to lend a hand in con- 
structive endeavor. I have not tried 
to hide from the American author- 
ities, and I have answered their ques- 
tions without reserve. I am ready to 
obey the laws of this country at the 
cost of any personal sacrifice. I speak 
not only for myself, but also for hun- 
dreds of other anti-Nazi fugitives 
now illegally in this country, when 
I appeal to America to let the 
black-coated man with the swastika 
badge in his lapel — the man who 
operates the guillotine in the yard 
of Ploetzensee Prison in Berlin — 
to let that man wait in vain for 
victims from overseas. , . . 

In the land of my youth, the low- 
lands along the raging North Sea, 
the peasants worked together to 
build dikes to dam the storm floods. 
The dikes were stronger than the 
destructive fury of the sea, but they 
needed tending, each day anew, to 
preserve their strength. Today I 
have no other political aim than to 
be a humble member of the vast 
crew of dike-builders at work wher- 
ever men prize their freedom and 
are alert to defend it. That is why 
I am glad and grateful to be 
America. 



in 



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^American Federationist 



OFFICIAL ORGAN OF THE 
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR 

From a review by KARL BAARSLAG, General Chairman, 
Marine Division, Commercial Telegraphers Union, A. F. of I.. 



Yet paradoxically here is a haunt- 
ing and beautiful piece of writing, 
powerful, dramatic, absorbing. Val- 
tin's autobiography, written without 
literary flourishes or striving for 
propaganda effects, grips the reader's 
interest from page to page far more 
effectively than the wildest and most 
sensational fiction. . . . 

I was howled down by the com- 
munist "faction" in control of the 
American Radio Telegraphists As- 
sociation when I charged in 1934 
that the Marine Workers Industrial 
Union of Roy "Horseface the Bish- 
op" Hudson was a simon-pure com- 
munist fake. Valtin admits that he 
forwarded Moscow's subsidies from 
Hamburg to New York in 1930 to 
I 933- "The addresses to which this 
writer dispatched funds were 140 

(continued front page 5) 

was a fellow student in Freiburg in 
roiQ. .„ 

Valtin's book is terrible and cruel. 
We will never be able to verify every 
single statement he makes. But I have 
checked as many of his stories as pos- 
sible against my own experience and 
information, and I have found him 
correct wherever I could check up, and 
that is no little. I have been in contact 



Broad Street, and Box 13, Station (), 
both in New York City." Valtin 
names both George Mink and 
"Horseface" Hudson as recipients of 
these Soviet funds "for the Marine 
Workers' Voice, for the maintenance 
of International Clubs, for wages of 
organizers, for the support of a spe- 
cial communist group in the Panama 
Canal Zone, and for communist ac- 
tivities in the U. S. Navy and Coast 
Guard " 

I lived in Germany for several 
months in 193 1, 1932 and 1933 and 
I can vouch for the factual accuracy 
of Valtin's account. . . . 

Out of the Night should be com- 
pulsory reading for every labor man 
in the United States, for every liberal 
and public figure 



with a former leading communist, 
through a mutual friend. His verdict 
was: "This book is extremely reliable 
in all things concerning facts and per- 
sons. In hundreds of places where I 
was able to check up, it is absolutely 
accurate. . . . 

On the whole, Valtin's knowledge 
of the world of seafaring men is unique 
and true." 



HENRY SEIDEL CANBY: "An autobiography the li\e of which 
has seldom been written!' 

HARRY HANSEN: "A pointed warning to , I mericans." 

r 15 I 



Read OUT OF THE NIGHT for everything 

it gives you — 



1. The real inside story of what has 
been Agoing on behind the scenes, 
here and abroad, since 191 8 — as a 
background for understanding 'to- 
day's news. 

2. The most amazing personal history 
of our times, an epic of drama, love 
and high adventure; 



3. The first-hand, authentic, life-size 
picture of the dangers, more deadly 
than jo-ton tan\s, now facing the 
democracies; 

4. An antidote for the enemies of 
America's tomorrow, who are dis- 
torting the truth about today. 



IF you have not already read Out of the Night by Jan Valtin, we urge you 
to do so at once. We sincerely believe that you owe it to yourself to learn, from 
[an Valtin, how Democracy's enemies are working overtime to "divide and 
conquer" the United States. Out of the Night is far more than a story to read 
— although you will find the mere reading of it a thrilling and exciting adven- 
ture; it is the 750-page depth bomb that pierces the intrigue which bridged 
the two World Wars — and explodes the truth about the same ruthless 
totalitarian efficiency now working day and night to undermine our defenses. 

The publishers, The Alliance Book Corporation, 
212 Fifth Avenue, New York, would be grateful for 
your opinion of Out of the Night and of this booklet. 

COUPON = 

ALLIANCE BOOK CORPORATION 

212 Fifth Avenue 
New York City 

Please send me copies of OUT OF THE NIGHT by Jan Valtin at $3.50 

I enclose check □ Send C.O.D. □ Charge my account □ 

Name 

Address ■ 

City and State 

PRINTED IN U.S.A. 
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